12 September 2008

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Autism Conference advocates ASD as strength
The 6th Brunei National Conference on Autism this month had the theme "Don't DIS the Ability" which advocates the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as an ability, an advantage and as strength. One of the main objectives of the conference is to review the SMARTER STEP programme and discern its relevance in the developmental process of individuals with Autism (IWA). The Society for the Management of Autism-Related Issues - In Training, Education and Resources, more commonly known as SMARTER Brunei, was established in September 2001. The STEP programme is a holistic approach to seven essential, independent living skills designed to support, assist, facilitate and enhance the development of IWA through real activities in a real environment. The "cradle to grave" seamless journey to independence provides an intensive programme for early childhood, teenagers and adults.

The Invisible Workforce
"Gavin, now 31, is ... a bright, accomplished computer graphics designer. And he's earning straight A's toward his second college degree. But he's been turned down by 12 employers so far. The reason, says his father: his autism." While the the physically disabled have made much progress in the workplace since the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990, .... significantly less progress has been made by those with mental, or intellectual, disabilities. That includes some 6 million adult Americans who are mentally retarded or have psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia or neurological disorders such as autism.

Symmetry Electronics Starts Outreach Program Employing Adults with Autism
"People with Autism and Aspergers are unique individuals who can be a major asset to companies who know how to utilize them and are willing to work with them.... These individuals have talents and abilities that a neuro-typical person might not have. "

American Medical Autism Board’s Diplomate certification program for ASD
The Chairman of the American Medical Autism Board announced the commencement of the newly founded American Medical Autism Board (www.asdboards.org) at the US Autism & Asperger Association annual conference in Austin, Texas.
“This is the first of its kind board / diplomate certification program for medical doctors specializing in biomedical treatment of autism and related disorders,” he explained. “Medical doctors who become certified by the American Medical Autism Board (AMAB) show that they specialize in biomedical treatment of autism spectrum disorders, and will have met the Board's high levels of criteria for training and experience, and will have passed its rigorous certification examination. The biomedical concept means that autism and the autism spectrum disorders are not primary psychiatric or behavioral disorders, rather they are medical diseases with a biologic basis to their cause and to their ongoing manifestations (such as pain, gastrointestinal problems, and immune dysfunction).”
AMAB board-certified members provide biomedical evaluation and/or treatment to individuals of all ages diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, Asperger's syndrome, AD/HD, OCD, and PDDs. Through its credentialing process, AMAB offers both the public and private sectors an avenue for identifying well-qualified professionals trained and experienced in the biomedical assessment and treatment of ASD. Contact information@asdboards.com



Haadd initiative for artists on the autism spectrum
In order to promote the work of artists in the autism community and to raise additional funds for our Joseph Umbrico Bursary and Grant Programme, Haadd seeks submissions to be considered for a collection of note-cards to be launched prior to the 2008 holiday season. The entries will be reviewed by a panel of artists and Board members. An honorarium of $500 will be awarded to the artist whose submission is chosen. The successful artist will be asked to sign a waiver indicating that he/she has been paid for the piece and granting permission for Haadd to use it solely for the purpose described above.  Click for the full announcement
Haadd c/o Beth Komito-Gottlieb
65 Wynford Hts Cres- Unit 1106
Toronto, ON
M3C 1L6
For questions phone 647-341-5442 or email bkomitogottlieb@gmail.com

Haadd: Helping Adults with Autism And Developmental Disabilities is a family based organization that helps adults with autism to establish meaningful lives and homes in their community


We are often asked for help in finding professionals who can assess disabilities, and thus are glad to know of this professional organization, whose members are distributed around Ontario.

of Psychologists in Disability Assessment


The website description is as follows:

CAPDA is an organization of senior psychologists who practise primarily in the areas of psychological or neuropsychological assessment of disability and impairment.

There are strict requirements for membership and all members are bound by comprehensive standards which guide their practice and outline their obligations to the individual assessed and to the referral source.



Please send submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and Bulletin Board in plain text format by email to ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca with "announcement" at the beginning of the subject line.
Please provide details of the following as BRIEFLY as possible: 
Name of Event
 Main Speakers and Topics of Event 
 Date of Event 
 City and Location of Event
 Contact information to learn more about event
 URL Link for more information/registration 

 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments


Announcing Series of Events

PLAN Institute offers
Weaving the Ties That Bind
Online Training Course for Facilitating Social Support Networks
"Facilitated social support networks are an effective way to address the isolation and loneliness of many people living on the margins of our society. These networks (also known as “circles of friends”) are proven to contribute to the health, safety and well being of individuals who are vulnerable as a result of age, disability or social circumstance."
Click on title for details of availability and to register--for September, October, or November.

Fall 2008, between October 18 and November 29, in Oshawa
Compassion in Action: Open Mind, Open Heart, Skilful Means
an 8-part introductory seminar series in compassionate practices with Felicia Jervis.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER: Some children and adults express themselves through actions that are at times difficult to understand and support safely. These actions may include: occasional withdrawal or aggressive acts towards self, others and property. These actions must be understood not as challenging behaviors that need to be controlled or eliminated, but rather as communicative acts that often speak of the pain of humiliation and rejection, and a yearning to belong....
Click for full brochure and how to register in the workshop series

Click to read "When children hurt themselves"
by Felicia Jervis in BLOOM magazine on the Bloorview website


Announcing Individual Events

Tuesday September 16, 2008, in Toronto 
Autism Ontario presents
Training for First Responders: Autism Recognition, Response and Risk Management
with renowned international speaker, Dennis Debbaudt, a law enforcement trainer, author and the father of a young man with autism. 
Research indicates that persons with developmental disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, are approximately seven times more likely to come into contact with law enforcement professionals than others. Additionally, with a rising autism population in our communities, emergency and fire service professionals are also in contact with people affected by autism on a more regular basis.

Training Event Brochure  
Registration Form
Dennis Debbaudt’s website at http://autismriskmanagement.com

September 17-18, 2008: in Ottawa and Cornwall
Dennis Debbaudt’s "Autism Risk & Safety Management" Workshop
Autism Ontario is very pleased to be able to provide the Ottawa and Upper Canada (Cornwall) communities a workshop providing valuable information on Autism Risk & Safety Management by Dennis Debbaudt.

For more information regarding Dennis Debbaudt, visit his website www.autismriskmanagement.com
Sessions at each workshop:
The morning session is for Parents and Care Providers.

The afternoon session dedicated to Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, First Response Teams and Criminal Justice Professionals.
For more information regarding the
Ottawa workshop, please email nancy@autismontario.com
For more information regarding the
Cornwall workshop, please email autismcornwall@gmail.com or visit their chapter website: www.autismontario.com/uppercanada

Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 11-3, in Toronto
"Ending Poverty Workshop”  
Place: 188 Lowther Avenue – Walmer Centre – “Lower Hall”
(attached to Walmer Road Baptist Church)
Intersection: Spadina Avenue & Bloor Street West
Subway: Spadina Station on Bloor-Danforth
Subway line is wheelchair accessible

Enrolment is limited. To register please call Theresa at 416-482-8255 ext 229 before Friday September 12, 2008.
Please indicate any disability accommodations you may need and whether you need childcare when you call.
Your ideas for ending poverty will become part of a report to government and the community to help build an effective poverty reduction strategy in Ontario.
This workshop is 1 of 10 organized by CAMPAIGN 2000 and the Income Security Advocacy Centre across Ontario, with funding from Metcalf Foundation. Organized by:  ARCH Disability Law Centre

Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 4:30-6pm, in Kitchener
Social Innovation Generation, at the University of Waterloo (SiG@Waterloo, www.sig.uwaterloo.ca), invites you to
Social Innovation Dialogues: Fall 2008
Al Etmanski of the "PLAN Institute for Caring Citizenship"
"Engaging Vulnerable Populations to Strengthen our Communities"
Venue: Kitchener Public Library, Main Library, 85 Queen Street North, , ON
THIS EVENT IS FREE TO ATTEND. PLEASE RSVP BY EMAILING info@sig.uwaterloo.ca OR CALLING 519 743 0271 ext 255.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 730-9pm, in Kitchener
Social Innovation Generation, at the University of Waterloo (SiG@Waterloo, www.sig.uwaterloo.ca), invites you to
Social Innovation Dialogues: Fall 2008 (http://sig.uwaterloo.ca/speakers.html)
Senator Michael Kirby, Chair, Mental Health Commission of Canada www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/
"Social Innovation and the Mental Health Commission of Canada"
Venue: Kitchener Public Library, Main Library, 85 Queen Street North, , ON
Senator Kirby will be speaking about the need for social innovation when striving to change perceptions and attitudes about mental health and mental illness amongst the general public, in policy circles, as well as within the Canadian health care system itself. 
THIS EVENT IS FREE TO ATTEND. PLEASE RSVP BY EMAILING info@sig.uwaterloo.ca OR CALLING 519 743 0271 ext 255.

October 3-5, 2008, in Ottawa
Family Alliance Ontario Annual Conference
Engaging Families and Building Bridges
Visit the Family Alliance Ontario website at this link for full information, including an important note about booking hotel rooms.  http://family-alliance.com/conference.html

October 7, 2008: 9am-4pm, at Wellington County Museum, between Fergus and Elora
Aging and Developmental Disabilities
Click for flyer

Tuesday, 7 October 2008, 7–9pm, in Guelph
First of a series of information forums for families living in Guelph-Wellington, who are interested in learning about services and increasing life options for adults with Autism. Supported by Kerry’s Place Autism Services. At Kortright Presbyterian Church, 55 Devere Drive in Guelph (registration begins at 6:30 pm)
Guest speakers include: Andrea Robinson from Access, Information & Referral, Developmental Services; Elizabeth Bloomfield of Guelph Services for the Autistic; Gail Jones from Kerry’s Place Autism Services; and Dwight Syms, Service Resolution Facilitator for Wellington. Service information booths with staff representatives will also be available throughout the evening.
Child-minding services will be provided on site and light refreshments will be served.
Click for more details and to register
**For more information and registration, call Wendy Perry at 905-867-6152**

18 October 2008, 8:30-5pm, in Guelph
Hiring Support Workers: First Steps
an all-day workshop presented by Judith McGill
for Families for a Secure Future
Click for full details and how to register

October 22, 23, 24, 2008, in Toronto
Autism 2008 – Geneva Centre for Autism International Symposium
The Symposium will provide a cross-section of perspectives on the most recent research and information on evidenced based best  practice.  All topics of importance to autism intervention will be addressed including bio-medical and neurobiological research, ABA, intervention, social skills, behaviour, communication, first-hand accounts, Asperger’s Disorder, and more.  Featuring speakers from Canada, U.S., Great Britain, and Australia.  For registration information, visit www.autism.net or contact Eva Finna at efinna@congresscan.com or 416-504-4500 ext. 208.

Friday, October 24-Saturday, October 25, 2008
Organization for Autism Research hosts its
Sixth Annual Applied Autism Research and Intervention Conference
at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, VA.

Read all about Day One.
Click for information and early-bird registration

25 October 2008, 8:30-5pm, in Pickering
Hiring Support Workers: First Steps
an all-day workshop presented by Judith McGill
for Families for a Secure Future
Click for full details and how to register

November 10, 2008, in Toronto

Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services,
Employer Outreach Secretariat:
Symposium on Disability and Employment

Contact: Tim Hilliard

Email: tim.hilliard@ontario.ca

3rd Floor, Hepburn Block

80 Grosvenor Street

Toronto, Ontario M7A 1E9

Tel: (416) 325-5352

FAX: (416) 212-4704

E-mail: employeroutreachsecretariat@ontario.ca

Employer Outreach Secretariat contacts: http://www.infogo.gov.on.ca/infogo/office.do?actionType=telephonedirectory&infoType=telephone&unitId=UNT0027984&locale=en

Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 4:30-6pm, in Kitchener
Social Innovation Generation, at the University of Waterloo (SiG@Waterloo, www.sig.uwaterloo.ca), invites you to
Social Innovation Dialogues: Fall 2008
Frances Westley & Paul Born (SiG@Waterlloo and Tamarack)
"Systems Change: Thinking like a Movement"
Venue: Kitchener Public Library, Main Library, 85 Queen Street North, , ON
THIS EVENT IS FREE TO ATTEND. PLEASE RSVP BY EMAILING info@sig.uwaterloo.ca OR CALLING 519 743 0271 ext 255

November 12-14, 2008 in Niagara Falls ON
National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD) 25th Annual Conference: 
"A Quarter Century of Awareness: Assessment, Treatment & Policy Advances (ID/MH)"

At the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel,
Niagara Falls, ON, Canada.
At the end of the conference, participants will be able to:
• Cite advances in the field of co-occurring MH/ID;
• Recognize the genetic underpinning of several MH/ID disorders;
• Identify to relevance of the DM-ID to the diagnosis and treatment of persons with MH/ID;
• Name several integrated system responses that have developed in Canada and the US;
• Interpret relevant integrated research that can be generalized to other individuals with MH/ID issues.
To learn more information about this event, please visit:



Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum:
What Parents and Professionals Should Know About the Pre-Teen and Teenage Years by Shana Nichols with Gina Marie Moravcik and Samara Pulver Tetenbaum.
Growing up isn't easy, and the trials and tribulations of being a teenager can be particularly confusing for girls with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). This book covers all the concerns commonly faced by girls with ASDs and their parents, from periods and puberty to worries over friendships and "fitting in".
Cover design by Carly Hatton of Guelph.
Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-84310-855-9, 234mm x 156mm / 9.25in x 6in, 256pp, November 2008, £13.99, $19.95

Consider a Henson Trust: What you can do to enhance the quality of life for a family member with a disability
Written by Harry Beatty, Mary Louise Dickson and John Stapleton and sponsored by the Reena Foundation and the Law Foundation of Ontario.

Bridges-Over-Barriers: towards supported decision-making

Something new is being pioneered in Ontario by several men who live with quite severe challenges of autism. As they do not speak with their voices, other people might assume that they have nothing to say—even that they do not think or feel. But they are very expressive, on many topics, supported by AAC technology (alternative and augmentative communication) and the presence of family and friends who believe in them. The idea of meeting regularly began with one of the men, who also proposes agenda topics and acts as host. Family members and friends just facilitate the dream in practical ways--and listen! The men gather in Guelph from all over southern Ontario

The gatherings are so moving and powerful, it seems good to share the idea with others. The pioneers in 2004 began with a  dream of “Bridges-Over-Barriers” as “a centre for friends and family who live with the challenges of autism to come together to share support, ideas and community..... We have been developing our skills as communicators and sharing technology ideas and friendship. We want to extend this community of pioneers to include more people. We would like there to be more opportunities for others to benefit from our experience, and to encourage and train more people to support those of us with communication and movement disorders.”

Members of Bridges-Over-Barriers share the philosophy of "People First": "Nothing about me without me" and "Though I may not speak with my voice, I have plenty to say." They share a vision of helping more adults who use supported typing and other forms of AAC to express their thoughts and dreams. Three years ago, the idea began of asking family and friends to give to a fund that would enable Bridges to start helping others.

Friends and families of the men like the potential of Bridges to help with supported decision-making, and are supporting their efforts to realize the vision.

Link to the Bridges-Over-Barriers webpage
Newsletter 5  contains more information on specific projects.

The Autism File
A North American edition of The Autism File, the longest running international autism magazine, has been released for distribution to 2000 bookstores in the United States and Canada. The Autism File, published in the UK for over 10 years, is also available in Spain (in Spanish) and Australia. The Autism File’s Scientific and Editorial Advisory Boards are made up of leading autism experts and advocates from around the world.


Bookstores that are stocking  The Autism File in the US include many Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books a Million, Universal News in New York and bookstores at four major airports: JFK, Newark, Chicago and San Francisco. Distribution varies by region. In Canada, stores carrying the Autism File will include Chapters, Coles, Indigo, and Presse Commerce and will be on the shelves for a three month period with an initial two week promotion.


The Autism File debuts in the US and Canada with articles from autism experts and advocates such as Dr. Wendy Edwards, Dr. Stephen Edelson,  Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, Dr. Harry Schneider and Laurie Mawlam from Autism Canada. A panel of scientific experts including  Dr. Kenneth Bock, Dr. Dan Rossignol and Dr. Amy Yasko will reply to questions in their column “The Doctor is IN,” (Askthedoctor@autismfile.com).  Practical advice is offered by award-winning author Chantal Sicile-Kira in the “Ask Chantal” column. Articles by people on the spectrum, such as Dr. Stephen Shore and Dean Beadle, are featured in every issue.


For more information or to subscribe, please visit www.autismfile.com/



See our
archive of past OAARSN news bulletins.
Read about why OAARSN was started and the tasks still ahead

You may be interested in our Creative Supports Bulletins which carry news about disabilities and special abilities and creative strategies more generally. See for example:  http://www.ont-autism.uoguelph.ca/CS-20060720.html

Send news, announcements and comments to gbloomfi@uoguelph.ca We welcome news items, announcements of autism events, new information, discussion questions and comments, and accounts of experience.

Please send submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and Bulletin Board in plain text format by email to
ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca with "announcement" at the beginning of the subject line.

Please provide details of announcements as BRIEFLY as possible: 
 Name of Event
 Main Speakers and Topics of Event 
 Date of Event 
 City and Location of Event
 Contact information to learn more about event
 URL Link for more information/registration 

 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments if you have an online version to which you can provide a link.

Visit OAARSN's website and keep in touch through the OAARSN Listserv--send a message requesting to join to gbloomfi@uoguelph.ca